Scandinavian Spinning Wheels!

Good morning!


Over the past month or so, we’ve been very very fortunate to find two wheels from Scandinavia. Both Kijiji finds, both very reasonably priced, both with all their parts and both in spinning order! One was in a ready-to-spin-right-now-and-i-cant-wait-to-get-started state, the other more of a help-me-im-smothering-underneath-all-this-nasty-oil-paint state lol but you’ll get to see how I saved her…she was sort of masquerading as one of those captains beds from the 70’s – you know the ones! – and had not been used much in her life but is definitely made to work. I took her for a test spin before beginning the stripping, just to reassure myself.

Ok, so, the first spinning wheel we found….

Swedish spinning wheel with norwegian double table syle and finnish double uprights

She was found in Trenton, Ontario and has a little bit of history (as told by the guy we bought her from). She was apparently brought from Sweden, by her Swedish family, and has been in the same family for her lifetime, save the time she spent with the gentleman we bought her from. The interesting thing is that she is actually a Norwegian style double table wheel with distinctive Finnish double upright wheel posts. The beautiful curving end caps on these double posts are also distinctly Finnish.

swedish double table spinning wheel with finish uprights

Check out her bearings! This wheel is absolutely THE MOST SOLID wheel in my collection – old or new. She is put together completely with wooden pegs and everything is in perfect shape. She’s like a miracle wheel, considering her probable age…

pegs under uprights

moa/table of swedish/scandinavian wheel

An amazing thing…she has all her bobbins! And the wood is beautiful….
swedish wheel bobbins

After cleaning…
bobbins after feed and wax

the third bobbin, on the flyer…
swedish/scandinavian double table wheel

Her treadle has the comfy foot indent and she loves to spin…a cleaning, an oiling and away we went πŸ™‚ Her wheel is large, partially hand carved and beautiful. It measures 26.5 inches, approximately.

God bless her original family, they took exceptional care of her.

Now, the second wheel…


We found this wheel on the local Kijiji, just about 30 minutes away. I couldn’t help but notice the double wheel posts with the curving cap which are secondary supports on this tiny spinning wheel and I was intrigued since I had just gotten the first a week or two before.

She was covered in thick brown oil type paint – very shiny. I could tell that it was not original paint because they had painted over her decorative end caps. She was doing a very good job of impersonating a reproduction wheel of some sort from the 70’s and I had more than one doubt when buying her.

My grandson, bless him, loves her. Grandma, for ME?!!! was his reaction πŸ™‚

For me grandma?!!

First things first, when I got her home I took her for a spin and she did spin!

Some pictures of her parts…

Painted over the end caps

The painted over decorative caps
Definitely not the original paint

The flyer and mother of all
Lots of paiint!

Yes, she has bearings

This was a job for solvent…and lots of gloves and paint scrubbie pads…




Stripping the itsy bitsy


The wheel itself was a lot of work…

before - itsy bitsy wheel


And then all the smaller pieces…

The pressure fit whorl
pressure fit whorl - finnish itty bitty wheel

The flyer
finnish flyer

The bobbin
finnish bobbin

The whole job took approximately 20 hours, lots of patience and plenty of elbow grease but now she is perfect!

Her flyer, with tool marks from the file it was ‘sanded’ with

The arched post cap


Side view/alignment


From the back

One thing missing – one decorative metal ‘cap’

It’s a super cute antique spinning wheel that has seen very little use. There is no foot indentation in the treadle, the hooks may be replacements but they are in good shape and well bent so I didn’t replace them. She has an odd arrangement with the front maiden on an angle to accomodate the flyer and a 14″ wheel diameter.

After stripping the whole thing, I treated the wood with orange oil, no wax so far.

Have a fantastic day! πŸ™‚

10 thoughts on “Scandinavian Spinning Wheels!

  1. We have a spinning wheel here in South Africa that looks almost exactly like your Swedish spinning wheel. I would love to send a photo and find out more on the age of the spinning wheel. My wife is a great spinner on her Ashford.

    best regards, Sarel du Toit

  2. I seem to have bought a dutch(?) castle style spinning wheel today. It’s antique (I think). I was assured it was a working wheel and it looked functional in the store but due to some social anxiety I didn’t try it out first since I was eager to get home. It’s double driven and one of the bands broke the moment I put my foot on the treadle (well…the string is OLD!). I have uploaded some pictures on IMGUR. Would you be so kind as to take a look and tell me how to get it into working order?

    There’s little to no information on it on the web so far as I can find.

    I would REALLY appreciate it if you could help me out with this, I’ve wanted to start spinning for a long time and I finally found one for sale at a reasonable price near me. ( I had to carry it on the bus and everything, it’s small and light so that was easy and I’m glad it’s so tiny. )

  3. Hi πŸ™‚

    First of all, good find! Beautiful wheel!!

    It looks to me that all the parts are there, and correct, except the missing wheel peg. You can carve one out of a bit of dowelling or other wood, even a tree branch, The peg helps keep the wheel from ‘jumping’ as you spin but is an easy easy fix.

    Is the whorl tightened completely to the bobbin? One thing to keep in mind when working with the whorl is that it will most likely (not always but most often) be threaded in reverse so rightly LOOSEY, lefty TIGHTY. Before using the wheel it would be a great idea to remove the whorl and bobbin, being VERY CAREFUL not to put pressure on the flyer arms as these are very delicate, and oil everything very well — the flyer shaft, the bobbin inner edges (and you can use a pipe cleaner or small round file to ensure that there is no ‘gunk’ collected from previous spinning oil used inside the bobbin sleeve).

    The bobbin should spin freely on the flyer shaft and the whorl (when reassembled) should turn the entire flyer.

    The alignment should also line up, once the band is strung, and from the pictures, I don’t think alignment will be a problem. My favorite replacement drive band material is hemp found in craft stores or #10 crochet cotton. The band should be one continuous band which loops first over the groove on the bobbin, around the first wheel groove, over the whorl and around the second wheel groove, returning to tie to the beginning — set your tension loosely while tying on the new band and then you can tighten it appropriately after the band is tied. I like to use three half knots to be sure the tie will hold.

    You mentioned the orifice is plastic? It looks to me like a leather piece (what we normally see holding the orifice) and the orifice itself is steel. You should oil the leather like crazy inside to allow the metal to turn w/o resistance and this will help clean the metal over time also.

    Also oil the other end of the flyer, where the shaft sits inside the wood behind – oil the wheel axle on both sides, oil the treadles where they enter the legs on each side — basically anywhere where there is a possibility of metal on wood or metal on leather friction oil should be applied.

    It really is a lovely wheel in lovely shape with a distaff and everything! Good luck and I would love to hear/see how it turns out πŸ™‚

    Have a great day,

    • Hello Lisa,

      first of all, thank you so much for your speedy reply. I didn’t have a chance to reply until now, my apologies. You were right, the orifice is metal, it looked like plastic but after closer inspection it was cast iron just like the metal thing connecting the footman to the frame. I’m a complete beginner as I’ve never spun before and I think getting an antique wheel maybe wasn’t the best decision. ( It was 20 bucks, too good to leave behind, right?!) The footman falls off when I try to treadle and jams another time. I can treadle down but then it just stops when it gets to the top, I would need to manually lift the treadle again. I oiled it but it still has this problem. I just ordered a secondhand LouΓ«t s10 from a store that restores them and sells new ones and I’ll try to spin on that and familiarize myself with the art first before taking a second look at this one, I’ll store it and keep it as a project for when I “get” the mechanics a bit more and maybe get it restored somewhere since I’m not very handy( I have two left hands when it comes to this sort of thing, I can understand how and what but the practical part is usually a problem.)

      However, THANK YOU SO MUCH, I’m saving your reply because that’s some very useful information right there that I wasn’t able to get through searching on google. There’s not too much information readily available on this, unfortunately.

      Thank you!


      • Sounds like a good idea, learning with a newer wheel and then tackling this project – I really think it’s just a little bit of tweaking which it needs to work correctly – also just getting used to the ‘flow’ of treadling may be the issue also. I teach spinning and often that takes a lesson alone, just getting used to how the wheel responds to the treadles – maybe try treadling w/o anything else going on, with the driveband on, to get a feel for the wheel.

        Where abouts are you located? If we are lucky enough to be close, I’d be more than happy to be your restorer and get her spinning for you!

        Good luck πŸ™‚

      • Hello Lisa,

        The footman connecter is loose, which is why it falls off but I also don’t have the rhythm, yet. (Of course not, ahahaha) My wheel will be arriving the day after tomorrow and I just CAN’T wait, my roving should be arriving tomorrow or the same day.

        Unfortunately I don’t think we are located close as I live in The Netherlands! However, that’s a very kind offer. There are no classes close by where I live, the closest would be atleast 3 hours by train and costs an unreasonable amount of money in my opinion…

        I’ll definately let you know how it goes! I’ve watched a lot of videos and I’ll be just treadling before attempting the spinning. Thank you!


  4. Hi Lisa, I found your photos of the Swedish wheel on flickr. I have an almost identical wheel I have just renovated, pics can be found on flickr at martinfenton679. The wheels’ history is that it was bought in Suffolk UK around 1970’s. It was made in Sweden ?? when and used by a couple who opted out of the high life to croft in Somerset. I bought in a sorry state last year. Jean loves it, it is a solid wheel. Do you have any further info regarding your wheel. i.e. date of manufacture?
    Jean my wife is a fellow fibre and yarn maker and seller, you can find her on:-
    facebook Kaeravel Krafts

    Regards Martin

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